WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced $107,500 in new federal funds to support a green infrastructure project in Lakewood aimed at improving the water quality of Lake Erie. Lakewood will reduce its levels of untreated stormwater runoff through the installation of bioretention planters. These planters will also reduce overflows from the city’s sewer system to Lake Erie.
“This is excellent news for Lakewood,” Brown said. “Improving the water quality of Lake Erie helps protect drinking water, public health, and the many jobs that are dependent on the Great Lakes.”
The funds were awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an interagency effort to protect the Great Lakes. The initiative is tasked with cleaning up toxic areas, combating invasive species, protecting watersheds from polluted runoff, restoring wetlands and other habitats, and tracking progress and working with strategic partners. According to the State of Ohio, more than $10 billion of the state’s nearly $40 billion tourism industry is derived from counties along the Lake Erie shoreline. Restoration efforts in the region are essential to maintaining a strong economy along the Ohio coast.
Brown recognizes the importance of preserving our Great Lakes and is a cosponsor of the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (GLEEPA), a bipartisan bill which aims to protect the Great Lakes and grow economic development in that region. In January of this year, Brown helped secure more than $300 million in the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill for the program.